Kitchen Mini Makeover REVEAL

Our original plan for our kitchen was to live with it the way it was for a year or two before we did a full remodel.

But on our first night in the new house, we just couldn’t help ourselves and a mini kitchen remodel began.

We decided that since we spend so much time in the kitchen and it is at the center of the floor plan, it made sense to make a few big-impact, small-cost projects that would totally transform the space and make it more enjoyable for us to work and gather in.

Before I show you the updated kitchen, let’s remember what it looked like when we moved in.

The kitchen is a great size and the layout works well. The floors and countertops were updated and while not necessarily what I would choose now, they are in good shape. The cabinets are solid wood and appliances work great.

We were not crazy about the orange tone of the cabinets and how it contrasted so much with the cool grays of the floors and counters. The bulkiness and detailing of the upper cabinets, the shallow double basin sink and oddly placed faucet, and lack of lighting were also issues to tackle. These things didn’t seem too difficult to change. We knew if we DIYed it all, we could turn this kitchen into a really attractive and functional space.

We are finally finished with the makeover and so happy with how it turned out!

Ready to see the new kitchen?

When you walk from the entry into the main living area, this is now what you see:

We love the way the dark cabinets tie in with the existing gray floors and granite countertops. Someday we will have wood floors in here and simple white countertops, but this was a great lesson in working with what we have.

Bringing in the wood shelves and brass hardware brought in much-needed warmth and really finished out the space.

The previous white double basin sink was replaced with a single basin stainless steel sink that I adore. Just for fun, we mixed up the metals and used a brass-toned faucet. Updating the sink and faucet instantly elevated the style and function of the kitchen. The sink/disposal/faucet combo was second to the shelves in cost and worth every penny.

The wood shelves are absolutely everything I was hoping they would be. They add warmth, an organic and modern feel and allow me to style with everyday kitchen things. We had open shelves in our last kitchen and not only love how they look, but also how well they function for us.

The shelves are reclaimed cedar planks from our favorite local salvage store. We loved their natural color, so only gave them a few coats of clear polyurethane to seal them.

Figuring out how to securely hang the shelves was the trickiest part of the whole makeover. I was set on floating shelves for their modern simplicity, but the wood we bought was just not going to work with the necessary floating shelf brackets. We ran through just about every shelf bracket option and landed on these stainless steel angle brackets.

As it turns out, I don’t mind the brackets showing at all. We are fans of mixing metals and it is nice to repeat the silver tone of the sink, chairs and pendant light up on the brackets as well.

Let’s look one more time at the before and after photos side by side:

I just love a good before and after and this kitchen was the perfect candidate.

By adding lighting, paint, updating the sink and faucet, switching out hardware and putting up open shelves, this kitchen looks like a brand new room.

We finished the makeover on Christmas Eve just a few hours before our family arrived (nothing like pushing it right to the deadline!) and it was the best feeling to have a pretty kitchen to work and entertain in.

The kitchen is truly where we spend most of our family time and while it would have been fine to wait until we tear out the whole thing, doing this mini makeover reminded us that making small improvements right now always feels worth it. And now we’re tempted to nix the big remodel and just enjoy the kitchen as it is!

If your kitchen is feeling dated and doesn’t reflect your style (but you are not quite ready for a full remodel), I have six suggestions for how you can make those updates without spending a fortune.

Click the image (or RIGHT HERE) to get the guide! I hope it will be extra helpful to you as you think about updating your kitchen.


sink | faucet | shelf brackets | cabinet knobs | cabinet pulls | bar stools | brass towel bar (similar)| chairs | pendant light | black + white striped towel | brass frames | sisal rug | tassel throw

wall + trim color: Sherwin Williams Shoji White
cabinet color: Sherwin Williams Iron Ore


176 Responses to Kitchen Mini Makeover REVEAL

  1. Marie March 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm #


    I am wondering if you did something to the knobs and pulls so they look aged (maybe it’s the lighting or photography that gives them this look)? The “champagne bronze” faucet looks brushed and/or aged, so maybe that’s influencing what I see in the knobs/pulls.

    You have an incredible eye: I appreciate how you combine colors and textures to make a cohesive, inviting atmosphere.

    • emily March 5, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

      The knobs and pulls look aged straight out of the package. There are certainly more authentic brass hardware options (schoolhouse electric and rejuvenation both have beautiful hardware), but I was not wanting to spend a bunch of money on hardware we will eventually replace when we redo the kitchen. These work great (and look great, too!).

  2. Cordie January 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

    Have you loved the shoji white? Thinking of doing my cabinets that color.

    • emily January 17, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

      We do like shoji white. But I always recommend testing a few different whites in your home to make sure it is the right one for you. My friend just painted her house White Heron (which is what we did our old house in. It looks great in her house and looked great in our old house, but looked dirty in this house. Whites change depending on location!).

      • Cordie February 28, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

        I just barely saw that you had replied. Thank you. The problem is I can’t try it out. Our builder only offers three different whites to choose from for cabinets and I want my walls to match so I choose shoji. So it’s a done deal. I’m having a hard time deciding if I’m going to like it. It looks beautiful in your house and looks white. I have searched all over Pinterest and see that sometimes it doesn’t look white at all. Help me feel ok about the decision ha. My other two choices were westhighland white and incredible white.

        • emily February 28, 2018 at 1:16 pm #

          You’re going to love it :)

          • Cordie February 28, 2018 at 1:31 pm #

            I sure hope so. Last question. It looks white in your pics. Does it feel white? Do people come in and think you have white walls?

          • emily February 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm #

            yes, for sure.

  3. Emily Barney January 11, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Emily,
    Do you still like the dark cabinets? I like white and my husband likes dark. After seeing yours I think it could be a good choice for us. Love the way everything looks!

    • emily January 11, 2018 at 3:41 pm #

      I do really like them. If they were also on the wall, I think it would feel really heavy and dark, but because we only have lowers, it works. Our house does not get a ton of natural light, so sometimes I wish the kitchen was lighter, but we chose the dark paint to help tie the floor and countertops together. When we replace the floors with wood and lighten up the countertops, I think I’ll love it even more.

      If you need kitchen inspiration, try looking up @devolkitchens on instagram. Lots of painted cabinetry and every single kitchen is just gorgeous.

  4. Cynthia January 20, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    What is the name of the salvage store? Is it located in G.H.?

    • emily January 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

      We like Second Use in Seattle and EarthWise. Both are great!

    • Cynthia January 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm #

      Thank you, Emily!

      Love your blog. I’ve forwarded it onto several friends of the same interest.

  5. Accent Painting Company January 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

    Its amazing what a change can be made with some new shelving and a bit of paint!


  6. Sandy January 19, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

    Just got a chance to look through your pictures and admire the beautiful new look you’ve created. Thanks for the links to Earthwise and Second Use. I’m over the bridge from you in Puyallup so glad to find out about some new places to explore. Second Use Tacoma just opened on Jan. 13.

  7. Erin January 19, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    Beautiful! Can you tell me how deep your wood shelves are?

    • emily January 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

      The long shelves (holding our stacks of plates and cake plates) are 13″ deep. The ones adjacent to the window are a little narrower – around 11″

  8. Janice January 17, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    I absolutely love your new kitchen and thank you for , yet again explaining your choices with such detail. I am about to begin a home office remodel, and will be looking forward to hearing all of the details of how you are setting up and organizing yours! Thanks!!

    • emily January 17, 2017 at 11:57 am #

      Thank you! I am working on a design board right now for the office … making progress in there and I’ll be sure to share all of the details.

  9. suzanne January 16, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    Great makeover in record time. Will you put your chalkboard up again?

    • emily January 16, 2017 at 10:42 am #

      Because we have so much dark in the kitchen, the chalkboard doesn’t feel right in there. I’m still looking for art for the wall where our table is – something that will bring more color and interest to the space.

  10. Katie January 16, 2017 at 5:49 am #

    Beautiful as always, Emily! We are going to be doing a full Reno on our 80s kitchen so I am collecting all the ideas. I read through all your responses and didn’t see too much about your single tub sink besides you love it, so I hope I’m not repeating anyone…. did you previously have a double sink, in your old house I mean? I am looking at a farmhouse sink, and I like the look of a single bowl, but I think I will hate the function. Where do you put items that are drying? Is it hard to get food from the corners? Just not sure, and with a cast iron farmhouse it is an expensive decision to get wrong! Thanks so much!!!

  11. Claire January 15, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    I’m sure I will get blasted for saying this but why does this ever need to be changed now that you did this mini makeover?? It’s beautiful and frankly I would love to have a kitchen that looked like this- I guess I don’t understand blogland, to me, it seems fantastic.

    • emily January 15, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

      No blasting at all :)

      It is a very nice kitchen and we would be happy to live in this house just as it is. There are a few functional things and a few style things that we would like to change and have those in mind for the bigger remodel (things like removing a wall to open up to the dining space, creating a bigger island to fit all of our kids, adding more windows for additional light, putting in consistent floors throughout the first floor – right now there are 4 different floors that make it feel choppy).

  12. Classy Glam Living January 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    What an amazing transformation! Your makeover is magazine-worthy!!

  13. Karen L. January 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Love, love, love the makeover—-perfect! We recently painted our island a similar color as yours and also replaced the outlet cover with a gray one instead of the off-white kind you have. Maybe you’d like that color on your island as well because it won’t stand out quite as much as the one you have. Cheap, too. :) Thanks for the nice side-by-side pictures which sure helps us see how it truly looks. Thanks so much.

    • emily January 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

      Oh, our outlets are terrible! Those will all be replaced (not just the covers, but the actual outlet parts too). It’s low on the to-do list but someday it will be done!

  14. Leslie January 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    Just wondering where you moved the microwave once you removed those cabinets on the wall.

    • mary August 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi! Where did you move the microwave to? Thanks!

      • emily August 22, 2017 at 9:09 am #

        The microwave is in the pantry.

  15. Christy January 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    This would be a permanent redo for me, I love it. I would probably put white marble countertops in, but this rest is a keeper! Even the tile floors….?

  16. Beth January 13, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    I see all the pretty glasses & dishes on the open shelves, & I can’t help thinking…..EARTHQUAKE!
    I have some open shelves in my house too….so I guess we’re in the same boat.
    We don’t get them too often here in WA but everyone keeps talking about “the big one”.

  17. Susan Shipe January 13, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    I would definitely nix the re-model for several years…looks great.

  18. Donna January 13, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    You guys are fabulous at what you do! Can you come redo our kitchen for us ;)

  19. Lori January 13, 2017 at 7:40 am #

    Emily, it really looks amazing! I absolutely love how simple and clean everything is. What an amazing transformation!

  20. Lil January 13, 2017 at 7:20 am #

    amazing! this might be the push I need to give my own kitchen a mini makeover. I bought my house the end of July and I think I’ve been living with the country blue wallpaper long enough. thank you!

  21. Jalene January 13, 2017 at 6:31 am #

    So much better! You can definitely live with that for longer. I love Sherwin Williams Iron Ore. We just did the ceiling of our mudroom in that color and absolutely love it! http://www.ourcorneroftheworldblog.com/the-official-mudroom-reveal/

  22. Pam Moore January 13, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    I truly love this makeover! I tend toward white cabinets usually, but I must say all your choices were perfect. That brass and wood is phenomenal. Your kitchen looks so sophisticated without being pretentious. Bravo!

    I am looking forward to more updates like so many other commenters: storage, plants, et.

    Thanks for always providing fresh inspiration!

  23. Kelly January 13, 2017 at 2:43 am #

    Gorgeous!! I have a question about replacing the sink… We have an undercount split sink with a garbage disposal on one side, and I HATE it. It’s so hard to wash bigger pots and pans. Would much prefer one large sink. Was it easy to change yours out? Would love more details. Thanks!

    • emily January 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

      Ryan did the sink and it was a pain, but totally doable. He did it while I was gone and it probably would have been easier with an extra set of hands. Changing out the sink to a single basin made a HUGE difference in my desire to cook in the kitchen.

  24. Shannon January 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Are your plants real and if so what’s the trick to keeping them alive? Where’s the best place to buy them this time of year?

    • emily January 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

      Yes! The plants are all real. I will do a post dedicated to all my favorites and tips shortly.

      • Angel February 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

        Ohhh so excited. I’ve been waiting to hear all about your plants! I want to add some greenery to my decor.

  25. Sue January 12, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Emily,I’m dizzy scrolling back and forth at all the pretty pictures. This is an awesome mini makeover. The countertops are so much better with this color. Can I have Ryan for a few months(maybe a year) for my projects?!!!

  26. Jill Hessick January 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    As always,Emily, you have combined class and a welcoming, warm look to your home. Your eye for detail is amazing and you have inspired me to take my mom’s 60 year old silver tea set out of the rafters and plant them!!! Do you ever polish your silver or enjoy it as is? Another question, did you and hubby paint your cabinets yourself? They are exquisite. It is a dog’s job for sure as my husband and I did our kitchen cabinets in a 3 step stain process in lieu of a summer vacation!!! Would love to hear how you did yours. Thank you for sharing your incredible talents and inspiring us in so many ways!!!

    • Kimberly January 12, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

      Ditto to this question and your pots and plants!!! ???????? Beautiful job! Enjoy!

    • emily January 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

      Thanks for the fun comment, Jill! Yes! Pull that special silver out of storage and use it! I rarely polish mine and quite like the tarnished coloring. Maybe once ever 5 years?

      I just posted a new video with details about how I painted the cabinets. Hopefully it will help!

      • Samia January 16, 2017 at 10:11 pm #

        Yes to the video! Where is the video, Emily? I am unable to find it. I checked your YouTube as well as searched on your site. Thank you!

        • emily January 17, 2017 at 11:56 am #

          You can watch the coffee chat video here: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/coffee-chat/coffee-chat-episode-15-new-kitchen/

  27. Casey January 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    Totally crushing on this handsome mood you have going for the house. You totally nailed your vision. It’s the exact adjective I would use to describe it.

  28. Ramona January 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

    amazing! But where did you put the microwave?

    • Kerri January 13, 2017 at 5:26 am #

      Yes I was wondering the same thing! I want to hide mine away!! So so beautiful!

    • Vanessa Q January 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

      That is ALWAYS my question! Emily, please dish! Inquiring minds need to know. ?

  29. Jennifer January 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    We recently moved also and I have been trying to pick a gray for the initial update on our cabinets. Thanks for sharing the color. I love your open shelving…where did you get the shelves? Are they just unfinished wood? Did you seal or stain them in any way? I love the color and your “quick fix” update has given me so much hope for my kitchen. Thank you!

  30. Jen January 12, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    Were you able to put the shelf brackets into wall studs or did you use another method? We put up a couple of shelves, but the wall studs are not where they need to be. So they are a bit off of where I would like them.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

      Yes, the brackets are in studs. This is really the only way these brackets would have worked to hold up the weight we needed. Thankfully, the studs we used were in good places!

  31. Sandra January 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    BRAVO !!

  32. Nora January 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    Where did you get the rug in front of the kitchen sink? The kitchen is fabulous. You are so talented.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

      Isn’t that a great rug?! I found it at home goods the other day.

  33. Amanda January 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    This is stunning and absolutely incredible! So inspiring to see what can be done in a “mini, DIY makeover”!!!! So I’m super curious if you are going to share soon (or even have) plans for the future makeover. I think it looks perfect as is and would only switch out the counters (and maybe a bigger brass light in dining space) if I were you, but I know every family has their own unique wants and desires. Really I think it’s so amazing and am loving the white walls and dark trim/cabinets/floors with the warm brass accents!

  34. Christy January 12, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    It looks amazing! And I just love the dark trim on the windows!
    Did you have to retexture your ceiling? I just know its tough to remove one of those florescent lighting fixtures without ruining the ceiling completely. That’s the scariest part for me!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

      We added a few extra can lights and had to do a bit of sheetrock repair/texture and painting. Ryan did a lot of it and we had our fix-it guy do the sheetrock while he was here for the studio and third floor remodels.

  35. Kari January 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    We love it! And by we I mean my three teenage daughters, my husband and I. He’s loving the brass and the girls love the gray cabinets. We are driving to our lake house in NH for the long weekend so reading your blog became a family affair. My husband immediately said let’s do some kitchen planning this weekend! The fact that you took down cabinets the first night sounds just like something we would do! Love it!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

      Fun! Enjoy your weekend away. I hope our makeover inspires something fun in your household!

  36. lindsey January 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

    gosh, so good. i so wish i could paint our rental kitchen cabinets because they are the same orangey color.

    a few questions:
    – where’d the microwave move to?
    – do you like the cooktop in your island? (working on kitchen plans right now…)
    – can your kids reach the open shelves? thinking about putting away dishes and getting their own dishes down.


    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

      Good questions. And you will be in a new house soon!

      1. Microwave is in the small pantry (behind the closet door by the computer). We had our microwave in our last pantry, too, and loved having it out of sight.
      2. Don’t love cooktops in islands. It was how our last kitchen was. I would prefer sink in island and cooktop along the wall. When we redo the kitchen, that is the plan.
      3. Kids can reach the lower shelves. I do have one cabinet with a few kid cups (ikea plastic) so they can grab them quickly.

    • A January 13, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

      I thought the large rectangle above the stove was a venting device as I have one similar way up high next to my ceiling and it is useless. Yes, it has a fan, but it does no good when you cook bacon or have lots of steam…. I was wondering what you are doing about venting? Also I agree if I could redo this kitchen, I would put the stove along a wall with ample counter space on both sides. My current island set up doesn’t even allow a 5qt dutch oven lid to rest on it because it is so small– nor could the refrigerator with freezer drawers fit at the end of the island because there wasn’t enough room– so definitely plan out every detail before starting work on a kitchen— that comment for Lindsey

  37. Lorrie January 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    Such a great temporary remodel. It looks like your space now. The last time we did a “temporary” kitchen remodel it lasted 15 years. :-0

  38. Jane @SeeJaneLearn January 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Great job! Love your make-over! Love the mix of metals, the simplicity and the plants. Glad you answered the “where’s the microwave now?” question. Wish I could stash mine somewhere! Since I live in your area, I’d love to have you email me your salvage source-looking for some wood items. Thanks!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

      Sure! We love Second Use in Seattle (they are opening a new location in Tacoma soon) and Earthwise.

  39. Ginny Mapes January 12, 2017 at 2:08 pm #


  40. Diana January 12, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    Your cabinet color choice is perfect for your floors.

    I love that you went with a moodier them. It’s a nice change from all the white.

    Check out our recent kitchen remodel.


  41. Angela January 12, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Can you please please talk about the process of painting your cabinets? Needing to do that here. Our cabinets are really nice…just not my style…so If I screw them up….my hubs wouldn’t be very happy.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

      Yep. I’ll do a follow up soon!

  42. Stacey Taylor January 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    I love the pear picture! If that is your painting, please sell it! Beautiful!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

      I did paint it! I will have it professionally scanned and turn it in to a canvas.

      • LeAnne January 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

        I love that painting! It looks so so good in the space and that green is so surprising and vibrant against the grays. It’s perfect! That just might be my favorite element. :)

      • Kim January 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

        I’d buy that too. Besides tile, what other flooring would you put in your renovated kitchen? We need new flooring and I’m totally painting my cabinets this color.

        • emily January 13, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

          We will replace the tile with wood in the near future. Wood all through the main floor, actually. Something neutral and warm!

  43. Patty January 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    Seriously, I would be satisfied as is for a VERY long time! I cannot tell you how many times I have already scrolled and drooled and just fell in love with this space. I realize the work you all did, and please know, IT WAS WORTH IT! This is truly one of my favorite places to visit, so thanks for sharing all this and I cannot wait to read about the plants. They are welcome in my home and need to know what I am missing.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

      Thank you, Patty!

  44. Kim January 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    Wonderful make over! I’m wondering how you deal with cooking fumes/exhaust noticing you removed that ugly box on the ceiling?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

      That box was a florescent light :) There is a pop up downdraft fan that is behind the cooktop. When we are cooking, it pops up and turns on then we send it back down when we’re done cooking.

  45. Cathie January 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Amazing love all your changes… i think at one time you said that you painted your pair picture and it’s wonderful.. do you think that you will ever offer it for sale like your pumpkin painting?

    Thank you your designs inspire me so!

  46. Danielle Jones January 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

    I think you are tempting me to paint my bottom cabinets! They are white but we have the same type of tile colored floor as you. I too prefer wood but can’t change all the floors at the moment. Love these ideas!

  47. Carol January 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

    How do you keep the rug under your table clean? I have a rug in my dining room, but I did an indoor/outdoor that can be scrubbed. It looks like an indoor rug, so it works well. I love the look of your sisal, though, and would love that under my breakfast table.

    Also, I’ll echo the pear painting question. Where did you find that? Did you do it? Love love love!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

      The rug has held up well. It is not an indoor/outdoor, but finely woven and wears well.

      The pear painting was done by me! I’ll have it professionally scanned and offer it as a canvas soon!

  48. Lori January 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Beautiful job! Curious about cabinet hinges. Did you replace/paint/leave them as is?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

      I left the cabinet hinges as they are. They are aged brass and work well with the new hardware.

  49. Beth January 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    Kitchen looks lovely, but I notice the microwave has disappeared. Did you sacrifice that in the remodel? I especially like the faucet/sink mix & match.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

      Microwave is in the small pantry.

  50. Vonda Laffey January 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Never mind – I went back and looked and realized it’s a PENCIL SHARPENER! Oops. ?

  51. Vonda Laffey January 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi, Emily! I don’t think anyone has asked yet (maybe I missed it): why is the door handle so low on the door beside the pear painting/computer desk?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

      That door is a pocket door that leads to the small pantry.

  52. Julie January 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    Absolutely love! You have inspired me with how elegant, simple and sophisticated this looks. I’m also impressed with how it appears that you don’t have an overwhelming amount of kitchen items. Would you mind sharing your thought-process on either how you organize your kitchen or how you keep your kitchen decluttered?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

      Yes! That seems to be a recurring question and I’ll do a follow up to talk all about how to organize a kitchen with open shelves.

  53. Gina Diamond's Flower Co. January 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    What a fabulous update. Love everything you chose. The natural light in the space is so perfect for a kitchen. How long did the update take you? and how did you paint the cabinets. They really look great! Love the color with the brass hardware. Thanks so much for sharing this and providing inspiration and great ideas.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

      Thank you! The makeover took us about a month and a half (but not solid working. We were doing many other projects around the house and with work as well).

  54. Heather @ Curly Girl Kitchen January 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    I just love those silver tureens/pots that you have your plants in. Where are those from?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

      All of the silver is thrift store/vintage finds. I love a little green plant in an old silver sugar bowl!

  55. Meloni Simpson January 12, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    Love your make-over. It looks awesome.

    Ya’ll did a wonderful job.

  56. Rebekah Withey January 12, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    1. It looks so beautiful! I love the inspiration to love what you have and not be afraid to just go for it! ?
    2. I noticed there’s no microwave now. Do you not use one? Or is it hidden away? Just curious because I’m not a huge fan of the way they look and have been tempted to just get rid of mine!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

      1. Thank you! This was a stretch for us style-wise and a fun opportunity to experiment.
      2. The microwave is hidden in the small pantry (next to the computer desk).

  57. Heather Bogaty January 12, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    Love the transformation! Beautiful. Quick question:
    1. I spy a bison under the counter. Is that a bottle opener? If so, do you have a source?
    2. Is that a dinner bell hung high in the hallway? If so, do you have a source?
    So fun!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

      Fun questions!

      1. Yes, it is a bison bottle opener. We bought it in Jackson, WY this summer.
      2. The dinner bell is in the hallway and we use it every night! From HERE.

  58. erin January 12, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    so so gorgeous, Emily! it’s been so fun following along with this little transformation :) would you mind sharing your reclaimed wood retailer? i’m local (port orchard) and would love to snag a few peices!

    and! welcome to this side of the bridge! :)

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

      Sure! They are from Second Use in seattle. They are opening up a new shop in Tacoma soon!

  59. Laurie January 12, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    Emily, this is truly beautiful! Do your DIY skills not only include painting cabinets, but also sheetrock patching from their removal and the removal of the kitchen light fixture or did you have someone do that? Also, I too, love the round tray that your plant in the corner is on. Do you remember where you found it?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Ryan is quite handy. He and a friend put in new can lights and we had the same contractor that was here doing framing/drywall in the studio and third floor patch the holes.

      The round tray in the corner is one that I bought to have in my shop! I have just a few of them and will add them shortly.

  60. Lisa January 12, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    I have to say that you did a lovely job with this mini makeover. It’s beautiful. As a rule I don’t like open shelves but these look perfect. I just think of the dust and grease and grime which is why I never could do it at my house but I love these. It really adds a nice touch in contrast with the dark cabinets.

  61. Terri January 12, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    The mini-makeover looks fantastic! Did you have to hire an electrician and carpenter to remove the boxed overhead fluorescent lighting? We have one in our kitchen and I’d love to replace with simple can lights as you have done, but am concerned about the costs and amount of work for taking it down and needing to sheet rock and paint the ceiling. Any advice you have would be really helpful.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

      Ryan is very handy and took care of the electrical work. It was just a matter of pulling down the light and capping the wires under a new plate. He also added a few new cans in a grid to have the ceiling make sense and we hired out the patching and retexturing of the ceiling.

  62. Mary January 12, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Emily, as always your eye for style and detail
    Is superb. Everything looks wonderful and it’s an encouragement to others who have to remodel on a budget. Thanks for sharing.

  63. Lauren January 12, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    As always I love what you do Emily!!! You are so inspiring and I’m thankful you share with us!!!

  64. Susie January 12, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    Oh em gee!! {{love}}!!!!

  65. Summer January 12, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    This looks amazing! I love seeing what can be done with orangey-oak cabinets. As we hunt for our next place we see a lot cabinetry that is dated, but the layout of the kitchen is nice. Paint is much better than a full-on remodel. May I ask, did you spray or roll the paint on your cabinets? Also, I love the open shelving. I noticed there isn’t a lip of any kind to prevent dishes from slipping or being knocked off the front (mom of 6 here, gotta think about that). How have you managed to keep things as they should be, not falling or breaking? Finally, where did you get that darling white vase/jug that holds your wooden spoons?

    Also, sorry for the crazy “I know you!” at the Nutcracker. I am an external processor and, unfortunately, that can come across rather odd when I’m processing faces in unusual circumstances :P

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      I painted the cabinets with a brush :) I’ll talk about my process in a future post!

      No lip on the shelves. We had shelves in our last kitchen and never had any issues with plates slipping off.

      The white vase with spoons is old from IKEA. I was just there today, but didn’t look to see if they still sell them!

      And you were not crazy at all. It was so fun to meet you!

  66. Annie January 12, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    Wow! Wow!Wow! FABULOUS! Can’t imagine the fun frenzy getting all that done by Christmas Eve. I work best under pressure too. Well done, you’re so talented.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      It was absolutely a FRENZY! Thank you for the nice compliments :)

  67. Dianne G January 12, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    Love your updated kitchen!!! You are so fortunate to have so much prep space!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

      We really do love having so much counter space.

  68. nicole January 12, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    Great Job!

    I love the pear painting Emily. Did you do that yourself? I believe that green color is the pantone color of the year. Do you have it available for purchase as you did the pumpkin artwork?

  69. Laura French January 12, 2017 at 11:20 am #

    Did you do the pear painting? Super cute! Please share!

  70. Courtney January 12, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Beautiful transformation! Since I have been studying every gorgeous detail, I have to know – where did you find the…is it a buffalo hook? on the side of the cabinet. It is such a cute detail. Just curious as to what you use it for?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

      It is a bottle opener! We have a small collection and I picture hanging all of them like a collage wall (only on the side of a cabinet) someday. The buffalo one is from Jackson, WY that we got this summer.

      • Courtney January 13, 2017 at 10:51 am #

        Love that! What a fun, quirky & useful detail all in one.

  71. denise January 12, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    Where is the kitchen table from?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

      We bought the kitchen table from CB2 about 8 years ago. It was a great find!

  72. Candice Hope January 12, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    It looks Amazing! What a transformation! Love it!

  73. Laurie January 12, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    Everything looks so good!! I love the chairs around your table. Can I ask which color those are? Burnished steel or gunmetal?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

      The chairs are in the Gunmetal color.

  74. Nicola January 12, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    I am also looking forward to your plant post…are they all real?! I have a question about your sisal rug under the kitchen table…do you replace it somewhat regularly or do you find it doesn’t get too messy?! (I may have an incredibly messy family!!)

  75. Betty January 12, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    amazing makeover…only thing I would add is another shelf on the coffee wall just above the switchplates or just below…doesnt have to be symetrical or as deep and stock it with coffee mugs.
    Also would love to see more of that pear color, maybe a rug under the table/chairs and also at the kitchen sink…it’s a great contrast with the cabinets. Oh and the crown moldind that is missing on the upper cabinet caught my eye immediately. Just my take it or leave it.

  76. Lauren@SimplyLKJ January 12, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    Emily, it looks fantastic. Love all the open shelving.

  77. Sarah January 12, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    Your kitchen is amazing. Thanks for the inspiration. I have long wanted to paint my cabinets and am daunted by the task. Did you take them off the hinges to paint or were you able to do it in place? Thanks!

  78. Debra myrick January 12, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    Emily…this is a beautiful kitchen. I love that it encourages working with what you have. As I was looking at the ‘after’ pictures, I was thinking ‘why remodel?’ Use that money on another great trip/experience with your family.

  79. Kristin McCullough January 12, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    I think your floor is actually pretty fantastic and it certainly is enhanced by your chosen cabinet color. Beautiful makeover and fantastic space got your large family.

  80. JulieD January 12, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    It looks amazing. The color choice for the cabinets is perfect. It looks like a totally new kitchen.

  81. Lisa January 12, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Can you tell me how deep the wood shelves are?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

      The shelves are 12″ deep on the long wall and 9″ next to the window. For no other reason than that is the wood we bought :)

  82. Candy January 12, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    where did the pear painting come from?

  83. Emily January 12, 2017 at 10:29 am #

    I’m surprised to really love this kitchen, since it’s not white. But it’s actually very soothing and welcoming! the plants and the mixed metals really give it life. Looking forward to your plant post. I’d love to know some of your sources for the white dishes and cake stands on your shelves?

  84. Mel January 12, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    Oh my, this is GORGEOUS! You are such an inspiration! I have a few questions…..
    (1) I would love to know more about the types of plants you chose and how you care for them, how long they last, etc. I’m not very good at keeping plants alive but I want to be! So any tips would be greatly appreciated!
    (2) Where did you get the milk jug plant holder that’s in the corner? Are those even called milk jugs? Agh, I don’t know!
    (2) Where did you get the round wooden holder (that looks like a cut-out from a tree stump) that’s on the kitchen counter? I LOVE that!
    (3) Is all of your kitchen stuff in your kitchen? Or do you keep some stuff in storage as well? I feel like I have so much kitchen stuff, but it’s inspiring to think that maybe I could have less and still have a very functional kitchen.
    Thank you!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:17 am #

      Great questions.
      1. I will do a post about the plants. I’m sort of crazy about them :)
      2. the jar in the corner is called a Pickling Crock! I found it at a local farm/feed store and couldn’t resist.
      3. The cut tree piece is actually from a cut tree! Here is a bit of that story: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/kitchen-missing-something/ You can find similar ones at the craft store.
      4. All of our kitchen stuff is in the kitchen. We do have a shelf in the dining room that holds our wine glasses and a few serving trays, but otherwise, everything is in the kitchen.

  85. jennifer January 12, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    You’ve officially inspired me to paint my orange kitchen. What type of paint did you use? I’m nervous about the durability on such high-use surfaces.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:09 am #

      Yay! I used semigloss latex. Check with your paint store to see what they recommend for your particular cabinets. Every cabinet has a slightly different finish and the paint experts will be able to help you decide what is best for durability on yours. Good luck!

    • Pam Moore January 13, 2017 at 6:22 am #

      Hi Jennifer,

      I JUST finished painting my kitchen cabinets and was really nervous about this, too. Valspar makes a kitchen cabinet enamel that is supposed to be really durable. That is what we went with. So far, so good. Just thought I’d throw another option out there for you. ;-)

  86. Lori January 12, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Looks AWESOME! Where are you hiding your microwave?!?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:09 am #

      We have a microwave in the small pantry (behind the door next to the computer and pear painting).

  87. Cathy Wall January 12, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    How fabulous! Love the dark cabinets and the organic mixture of finishes, textures and metals. Beautifully done and hopefully will hold you until your big remodel down the road!

  88. Liz - Shopping My Closet January 12, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    Beautiful transformation!

    Liz @ ShoppingMyCloset.com

  89. Shelley January 12, 2017 at 8:38 am #

    Beautiful kitchen! You have tons of great counter space. I love it just like this! I would like to know about your plants. Potting tips and more importantly, keeping them alive. I am terrible with plants, and yours look great!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:10 am #

      I do love plants :) I will do a post soon showing what I have and how I care for them.

  90. Cindy January 12, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    This looks fabulous! I’d love to paint my kitchen cabinets, but am a little nervous. Are you willing to share a cost breakdown of your mini-makeover?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      Sure! I will tally up exact numbers and do a follow up post!

  91. Ashley January 12, 2017 at 7:50 am #

    Where is the bench from?

    I really like the look of all of this! Floating shelves was next on our project list. But I love this look too for open shelves!

  92. Brooklyn Limestone January 12, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    What a difference. It looks wonderful. I hope you get some time to enjoy it now.

  93. Marie-Maguelone January 12, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    Do not change anything, it’s cute owl like that !! Bravo!
    I know that everything works well together and is the basis for a successful decoration! In fact little is enough to make a room a nice room or one feels good! If the colors go well together and if one follows his instinct to find what one likes like the shelves and what is practical like the new washbasin, it is successful! I think the former owners might have wanted dark gray on the furniture and had started with the floor and work plan … But they had not finished this kitchen! On the other hand, as a Frenchwoman, I dream about this decoration and especially the size of this great kitchen !! With us it’s smaller, even if I’m lucky to have a big house!

  94. Shell January 12, 2017 at 6:57 am #

    Looks absolutely fantastic! You guys did a great job : )

  95. Chelsea January 12, 2017 at 6:55 am #

    Absolutely beautiful!!! Possibly the least significant question I could ask, but just wondering what type of plant you have on your counter? I always find myself adding more house plants during January. Love your arrangement of fresh greens in the corner too! And the fiddle fig for that matter, but I tried one of those last winter and it only lasted about six months.

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      I do love fresh greenery! The plant on the counter is a maidenhair fern. Isn’t it lovely?!

  96. Jill T. January 12, 2017 at 6:52 am #

    This turned out AMAZING! One very random question — what did you do with the microwave?

    • Taylor W January 12, 2017 at 8:56 am #

      I had this same question! Is it hidden somewhere? Or does your family not use it very much?

      Also, I appreciate you showing a “work with what you have” makeover. I feels way more accessible to me. Complete overhauls are overwhelming, but it’s nice to see what a difference some paint and simply removing some cabinets can make!

      • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:10 am #

        We don’t use the microwave very often, so hiding it away in the pantry works well for us. Out of sight and still accessible!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:12 am #

      The microwave is in the pantry (behind the sliding door next to the computer and pear painting). It isn’t something we use often and I love having it out of the way.

  97. Victoria S January 12, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    Looks great! Where did you hide the microwave? Do you have a separate pantry area?

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      It’s in the pantry, hidden from sight :)

  98. Susan January 12, 2017 at 6:46 am #

    It looks so wonderful. Such a dramatic change! I say enjoy this mini makeover for a while!

  99. Amy January 12, 2017 at 6:45 am #

    Did you get rid of the microwave altogether?! Or maybe it’s just blending in now & I’m missing it. This is a beautiful update!

  100. Denise January 12, 2017 at 6:35 am #

    Wow! What a difference a can of paint can make! I love that you were able to remove some of the upper cabinets as well – It really opens up the space. Love it!

  101. P.L. Johnson January 12, 2017 at 6:27 am #


    I love this look. Great color palate.

  102. Susan January 12, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    It really looks awesome! I’m not a fan of tiled countertops, so I would probably switch that out, but the rest would be a great forever “after”! High five to you guys!

    • emily January 12, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      I am not a fan of tiled countertops OR this speckled granite, so I would love to replace them asap :)

      • Heather January 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

        Emily, what would you do for the countertops?

  103. Olive + Vi January 12, 2017 at 6:02 am #

    You guys are amazing! Can’t believe you got all of that done in that time frame! It looks so good.

  104. Mary January 12, 2017 at 4:30 am #

    This looks fantastic! Such a drastic change for a “mini” makeover!
    Can I ask where the rug/mat in front of the sink is from? I’m on the hunt for a new one and love the way yours looks.

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